West Chester Academy Faculty

Meet our instructors!

You definitely understand child development and the variable paths that your students will take. I think you can equally teach students who want to become concert pianists or merely develop their hobby. Mary Weatherington, Parent
Ms. Patsy Rabinowitz photo

Ms. Patsy

Director

Ms. Patsy is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music with a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Cincinnati of the College Conservatory of Music where she was a recipient of a Van Cliburn Scholarship. She studied with David Bar-Illan and Bela Siki and has taught piano for over 50 years. She has appeared as soloist with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and was named Ohio Music Teacher of the Year for 2005-2006 by the Ohio Music Teachers Association. She has served as the president of the Ohio Music Teachers Association, Southwest District, and has served on the executive board of the Ohio Music Teachers Association.

Music Instructors

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Mr. Andrew

Piano

Mr. Andrew has studied piano and organ since childhood. He serves as organist at Covenant-First Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati. Prior appointments include Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, MN; First Congregational Church in Spencerport, NY; and the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas on the campus of the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN. He received his BA in organ performance from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, and his MM in organ performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Mr. Andrew has performed as choral accompanist and recitalist throughout the US and Europe. Also a prize-winning composer, he has received several private and institutional commissions. His pieces have been premiered by members of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the faculties of the University of St. Thomas and St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. The weekly syndicated radio program Pipedreams, hosted by Michael Barone, has featured his compositions for organ.

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Mr. Andy

Piano

Mr. Andy is a Cincinnati-based keyboard player whose stylistic influences range from Elton John to Oscar Peterson. A native of Massillon, Ohio, he began studying classical piano at the age of 7. By the age of 15 Mr. Andy was performing with local blues and rock acts and later enrolled in the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music as a jazz studies major. Mr. Andy graduated in 2018 and moved to Nashville where he toured with multiple country and southern rock artists including Kyle Daniel and The Desert City Ramblers. He relocated to Cincinnati in 2021 and performs frequently around the city with various funk and jazz groups while continuing to tour with The Desert City Ramblers. Outside of music his interests include chess, reading, history, and basketball.

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Ms. Beth

MYC, Piano

Ms. Beth is passionate about music. She began playing piano at age 7 and has been playing for church and choirs since her high school days. She studied piano and voice at Warner University (Florida) where she was able to participate in and travel with various choirs and ensembles. Ms. Beth began teaching piano in 1995. Married to a pastor, she has five children, all of whom excel in music. She loves teaching and is able to help her students develop proficiency in mastering the piano and in music theory.

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Ms. Carmen

Piano

Ms. Carmen comes from a large family of musicians. She started taking piano lessons at age 8 and has been teaching piano students since she was 15 years old. She spent a year attending school in Salzburg, Austria and experiencing its musical culture under the Rotary Exchange Student Program. Ms. Carmen studied piano under Dr. Thomas Lanners at Oklahoma State University where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Music. She has taught music in public and private schools in Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. She and her husband have been West Chester Academy parents since 2013, and their children can be found in the dance and music hallways in the building year round. Ms. Carmen is the director of a family scholarship foundation and enjoys researching genealogy and sharing her family’s history in books and video projects. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association.

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Ms. Carmen

Piano

At the beginning of Ms. Carmen's final year in the pursuit of a music education degree, newly married, her husband received notice of his military duty, which took them to Germany. A new path in music was initiated there as the Ms. Carmen Trio performed at a jazz festival and various NCO and Service Clubs. Upon returning to the States, the stage was set for a 30-year career of vocal/piano performance in fine dining establishments, night clubs, hotels, etc. She initiated many aspects of musical service at Montgomery Assembly of God, Cincinnati, which led to a position as director in music ministry for 10 years, but continuing into the present as accompanist, which is of particular delight to her. Her teaching career began while in high school, giving accordion lessons to beginners. Piano instruction involving ages 6 to 65 and beyond wound throughout these activities. Equipping her students with the very best possible tools for their learning and future capabilities is Ms. Carmen's continual challenge.

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Ms. Dennitza

Piano

Born and raised in Bulgaria, Ms. Dennitza started her formal music education at the age of 6 at the prestigious Dobrin Petkov Music School in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. After completing high school, MMs. Dennitza came to the United States to continue her studies with Dr. Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse and later Ms. Eda Mazzo Shlyam. She obtained her BM in Piano Performance at the Atlantic Union College and MM in Piano Performance at the Longy School of Music. Ms. Dennitza has performed as a soloist with the NEYE in US, Canada and Mexico. She has given recitals in Europe and the United States. Ms. Dennitza has been teaching piano since 2003 and is excited to share her love of music with her students.

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Ms. Jenna

Piano, Music for Young Children, Music Pups Director

A graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Ms. Jenna has studied piano since age five. Ms. Jenna is certified as a Music for Young Children instructor and a Music Pups instructor. She has won numerous competitions, and has attended summer camps and workshops. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association and served as the Event Chair of the OMTA Masquerade Musicale. She teaches private and group piano lessons.

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Ms. Joanna

Piano

Ms. Joanna is a classically trained pianist who grew up in a musical family and started playing the piano at age 5. She started accompanying church choirs at age 14 and has taught piano lessons since age 16. After her undergraduate studies with a BA in Music/Piano at the State University of NY at Buffalo, she found her real passion in pursuing music ministry work directing both adult & children’s chancel & handbell choirs and working with worship bands. Aside from her committed church work, and teaching piano, she also enjoys accompaniment work with school choirs and OMEA soloist in the greater Cincinnati region. Ms. Joanna thoroughly enjoys sharing the gift of music with people of all ages.

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Ms. Kang Ning

Piano, MYC Teacher, RCM National Teacher

Upon her completion of a Master's Degree in Piano Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Siok Lian Tan at Miami University in 2018, Ms. Kang Ning became the Music Department leader at West Chester Academy. She serves as the private piano instructor, Royal Conservatory of Music National Teacher, and is certified to teach the Early Childhood Music program- Music for Young Children.    Her experience in taking applied piano lessons and pedagogy courses with Dr. Tan has set her to be a well-rounded musician and a high demand piano teacher. Her teaching philosophy is to provide a comprehensive piano pedagogy approach that helps students thrive through music and develop a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning. Her students’ age and musical background range from 5 to 70 years old, beginning to late intermediate level. As a Classical pianist and Teaching Assistant at Miami University, she taught Functional Piano classes to undergraduate music major students, accompanied the Chamber Singers Choir, and collaborated with instrumentalists and singers for competitions and recitals. She also earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance with first-class honor at University Putra Malaysia in 2014. She received the Licentiate Trinity College London Recital Diploma with Distinction in 2015.  Ms. Kang Ning has also been a member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) since 2016 and has been actively attending the MTNA National Conference every year.

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Mr. Rick

Piano, Music for Young Children

Mr. Rick received his Bachelor of Music degree in music education from Ohio University in Athens, OH in 1974. He has had the opportunity to both teach and direct individuals and groups of all ages. His piano students have ranged from 3 to 60+ years old. His vocal coaching has encompassed children, youth, and adults. He spent 3 years as the American musical trainer for the India Children's Choir. Mr. Rick has taught preschool music education classes as well as general elementary music classes. His approach to music education is one of facilitating enjoyment and early success, combining the interests and desires of the student with proven technical, rudimentary, and theory skills. Though teaching music is a serious passion with Rick, he encourages and fosters a relaxed, fun approach with his students.

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Ms. Yuan Zhuang

Piano

Originally born in Fuzhou, China, Ms. Yuan entered the Elementary/Middle School affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory, one of the most prestigious music institutions in China, and started professional musical training at ten. She came to the United States in 2010 and obtained both a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance at New England Conservatory, where she studied with Gabriel Chodos, Hung-Kuan Chen, and Meng-Chieh Liu. Ms. Yuan is an active pianist, organist, chamber music performer, and teacher. Currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Piano Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music under the concert pianist Dr. Rank’s tutelage, she has performed in prestigious venues in the Tri-state area and the East Coast, such as Werner Hall in Cincinnati, Trinity Episcopal Church in Covington, Kentucky, Weil Recital Hall in New York, Sanders Theatre at Harvard University and Jordan Hall in Boston. Ms. Yuan has been teaching piano for over ten years. Her students range from different age groups and skill levels. The core of her teaching philosophy is to understand each student’s needs and lead the students to achieve their goals in the music learning process. Aiming to cultivate her students as well-rounded players, she focuses on performance techniques, musicality, and musicianship skills in her teaching. She is working on the Piano Pedagogy as her cognate area for her doctoral degree at UC and is a Music Teachers National Association member.

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Ms. Karen

Voice, Young Musicians

Ms. Karen is an accomplished soprano soloist and choral director. Her degree is from Indiana University's Jacob's School of Music, where she studied voice with Virginia MacWatters and Martha Lipton. While there, she was a featured soloist with the “Singing Hoosiers”, directed by Robert Stoll. She has done post-graduate work at Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and Miami University, studying with Renee Boyer-White, Ethan Sperry, and David Bell. She has also worked with prestigious choral arrangers and conductors such as Pepper Choplin, Joseph Martin, David Carrington, Arnold Eply, Lloyd Larson, Rollo Dillworth, and Moses Hogan. Ms. Karen proudly directs the Mason Chorale, Hamilton City School's All –City Elementary Honor Choir, and is the Music Director at Heritage Presbyterian Church in Mason.

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Ms. Morgan

Voice, Piano, Ukulele, and Guitar

Ms. Morgan is studied at the University of Dayton (UD) under Andrea Chenoweth Wells. Receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Music, she spent much time in the music and theatre department and loves to bring favorites into the studio to help her students learn. She studied Piano under John Benjamin and Guitar and Ukulele under Jim McCutcheon at UD as well. As a young musician, Ms. Morgan was in the Indianapolis Children's Choir (ICC), Allstate Honors Choir, International Thespian Society, and was on the studio theatre board during her collegiate years. During her time in ICC, she performed at Carnegie Hall, National ACDA conventions, and worked with prestigious choral composers such as Dan Forrest, Daniel Brinsmead, Kevin Memley, Ruth Dwyer, Henry Leck, and Martin Ellis. She was a member and leader in Sigma Alpha Iota, the music fraternity chapter on the UD campus, and also participated and held leadership positions in her sorority, Theta Phi Alpha. Her favorite opera she performed in, during her collegiate years, was Die Fledermaus and her favorite musical is The Last Five Years. Ms. Morgan also grew up participating in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz dance classes, as well as tumbling. Some of her favorite hobbies are learning new instruments, painting, and playing with her two step-daughters and six cats.

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Ms. Reba

Voice, Young Musicians

Ms. Reba is a Miami University (OH) graduate that has performed in countless productions with Miami Opera. As an undergraduate student majoring in Vocal Performance, she has played the roles of Fiordiligi in W.A. Mozart's opera Cosi fan tutte, Nancy in Benjamin Britten's opera Albert Herring, and Madeline/Isabelle in Henry Mollicone's one-act opera The Face on the Barroom Floor. She was also in productions such as A Grand Night for Singing, where she performed a rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, The Christmas Waltz, The Christmas Song, and many more. Ms. Reba has also received awards, such as, 1st place in the sophomore and freshman women categories at the NATS Buckeye Chapter competition, she also won 1st place in the Undergraduate Artist Competition held at Miami, and she was awarded the Richard Miller Award for Singing her sophomore year at the NATS Buckeye Chapter competition - this honor is awarded to the singer who best displays overall vocal excellence and performance.

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Ms. Amy

Music Pups

Ms. Amy has a real love for working with kids and youth. Her appreciation of the arts has blossomed into the life of an artist in the areas of poetry, song writing, singing, sketch, and illustration. Ms. Amy's classical training in voice began at age fifteen and she continued with private lessons through age twenty. She has lived internationally several times, and at age sixteen her family moved to the former Soviet Union where she entered musical college to study voice as a mezzo-soprano. She has experience singing professionally across many genres of music; in rock, folk, bluegrass, country, pop, indie, commercial anthems, worship, musical theatre, classical voice, and has taught vocal workshops and private lessons. The voice is her instrument of choice, and she is passionate to communicate to her students that it is the best instrument. She can be seen performing around town on stage with her sister duo, "The Carolines," and has a solo album in progress.

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Mr. Emery

Trumpet, French Horn

Mr. Emery received a Bachelor of Music degree from Belmont University in 2017, as well as a Master’s degree in Trumpet Performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Currently, he is pursuing an Artist’s Diploma from CCM, where he is a member of the Graduate Brass Quintet. Mr. Emery has performed Quiet City with the CCM wind ensemble, and won a spot at the student performers concert at Belmont University. He is a substitute trumpet player in Evansville and Chattanooga. Mr. Emery has 8 years of teaching experience with both trumpet and French horn. His teachers include Michael Mergen, Phil Collins, Alan Siebert, and Joel Treybig.

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Mr. Ken

Trumpet, Brass, Jazz

Mr. Ken earned a Bachelors of Science in Music Education and Master of Music degrees from Miami University. Post-graduate studies in Music Education and Jazz Studies were taken at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Mr. Ken’s professional background includes performances with Dizzy Gillespie, the Manhattans, Mills Brothers, George Benson, and others. Trumpet studies include master classes with Bobby Shew, Arturo Sandoval, and Alan Vizzutti. Jazz ensembles in southwestern Ohio, of which he is a part, include Xavier University, Sinclair College (Dayton), Jazz Central Big Band (Dayton) and Maple Knoll Big Band (Cincinnati). Mr. Ken is also a part of the Miami University Campus Owls Tribute Band in Oxford. Mr. Ken’s professional affiliations include the American Federation of Musicians, National Association for Music Education, Ohio Music Education Association, and Jazz Education Connection of Ohio.

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Ms. Chung-Hsien

Flute, Piano

Ms. Chung-Hsien received her doctoral degree and master degree from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. Currently. She is on the flute faculty of the Preparatory Department at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music and is a substitute flutist in the Lima Orchestra. She has studied and performed the piano since the age of 7. Ms. Chung-Hsien has played in numerous concerts with several orchestras as a flute principal and piccolo player and in recitals as a soloist. She has studied with Dr. Garner, Prof. Demarre McGill, Prof. Randy Bowman and Prof. Henrik Heide. Ms. Chung-Hsien attended Académie Internationale D'été De and studied with Maestro Claude Lefebvre and Philippe Pierlot in 2013 and William Bennett Flute Masterclass in 2012. As an educator, Ms. Chung-Hsien has been teaching students age 4 years old to adult, levels beginner to professional for more than 10 years. She is a very experienced teacher with patience and teaching passion. Her students have received excellent grades and comments from RCM exams and annual recitals.

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Ms. Julianna

Flute

Cincinnati-based flutist Ms. Julianna is a sought-after performer, organizer, and pedagogue. Ms. Julianna has presented masterclasses in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio and served as the Teaching Assistant (flute) at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Her rounded approach to learning focuses on developing healthy fundamentals, sharing practice techniques to increase confidence and efficiency, and empowering students to express their unique voice. With advanced studies in pedagogy and mindful teaching, Ms. Julianna brings an informed yet innovative perspective to her students. An in-demand performer, Ms. Julianna plays with ensembles throughout the Midwest, including Opera in the Ozarks, Opera Project Columbus, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and the Kentucky Symphony, Butler Philharmonic, and Richmond Symphony Orchestras. Ms. Julianna is a founding member of the Cincinnati New Music Ensemble, Thrive Hip Hop Orchestra, and New Downbeat and has appeared with the Linton Chamber Music Series, and Concert:Nova. An advocate for new music, she has premiered over 50 works for solo flute and ensemble and performed at the Society of Composers, Inc. Student National Conference and the Midwest Composers Symposium. Julianna completed her Master of Music at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the Performer Diploma and Bachelor of Music degrees at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Her primary teachers include Demarre McGill, Thomas Robertello, Kathryn Lukas, and Christina Smith.

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Ms. Kate

Clarinet, Saxophone

Ms. Kate is a clarinetist in the Cincinnati area who is passionate about sharing music with others through teaching, collaborating, and performing. She completed a Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is currently continuing her studies at CCM with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and serves as the Graduate Assistant in Clarinet. In Cincinnati, she’s performed with the CCM Wind Ensemble, Concert Orchestra, and Chamber Winds ensembles as well as the Queen City Orchestra and several musical theater pits. In the summer of 2016, Ms. Kate was invited to attend the Music Academy International in Trento, Italy, where she performed in the pit orchestra for the production of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutti. She was a finalist in the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition in 2017 and was given a Graduate Incentive Award at CCM in 2018. Ms. Kate holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Lawrence University, both of which she received in 2018. Her primary teachers include Christopher Pell, David Bell, Andrew Marriner, Amy McCann, and Meghan Cabral. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota National Women’s Music Fraternity as well as Phi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.

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Mr. Dave

Guitar, Bass, Piano, Banjo

Mr. Dave has taught Music Theory, Keyboard Theory and Guitar Theory at the Post-secondary level and incorporates elements of Theory, Ear Training, and the Nashville Number System at all Levels of Instruction in addition to teaching Guitar, Bass, Piano, Banjo. He was the Bass Player for the rock group Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods (originally from Cincinnati) when the 1974 hit “Billy, Don't Be a Hero” achieved “#1 with a Bullet” status on Billboard Magazine's “Hot 100” for which he received a Gold Record. The group appeared on many TV Shows such as Dick Clark's American Bandstand, Action '73 (and '74), Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Dinah Shore. Mr. Dave has relocated from Florida to the Cincinnati Area to be centrally located amongst his Children/Grandchildren. As a “Southerner”, Mr. Dave served as Rhythm Guitarist (and Bass Guitarist when needed) at a church that held services nationwide and were seen on GOD-TV worldwide. As a Faculty Member at Brownsville Revival School of Ministry at Brownsville Assembly of God from 1999 to 2006, Mr. Dave arranged for Worship Teams and Choirs and taught students enrolled in the Worship Ministry curriculum how to create Master Lead Sheets, Chord Charts with Rhythmic Notation, and write Vocal and Horn Parts for Small Ensembles and Choirs. He has a special love for Musical Theatre and has played Bass Guitar, Rhythm Guitar and Ragtime Banjo in the Orchestra Pits for The Sound of Music, Frog & Toad, Godspell, The Wizard of Oz, Fiddler on the Roof, Snoopy the Musical, Meshuggah-Nuns, Hairspray, High School Musical, Victor/Victoria, Sweet Charity, Floyd Collins, and Seussical the Musical. Mr. Dave has a Master Certificate in Arranging from BerkleeMusic Online (Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA).

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Mr. Joe

Guitar, Ukelele

Mr. Joe loves to inspire, enlighten, and empower others through music. In 2005, he started playing guitar while studying Digital Television Production at Scarlet Oaks Vocational School. He continued to learn bass, drums, ukelele, and keyboard over the years. In 2019, he began writing, recording, arranging, and releasing his own original music. He loves to spend time with his family and have fun!

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Mr. Tristen

Guitar

Mr. Tristen is a guitarist from Wayne, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia. He is a jazz studies major at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music studying guitar under Brad Myers. He has been playing the guitar for most of his life with experience in a number of genres including, blues, rock, R&B, and jazz. Mr. Tristen hopes to inspire and guide students on their path to learning the guitar.

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Mr. Ethan

Drums

Mr. Ethan started playing drums when he was 12 years old, and fell in love with all things music and percussion through participation in his high school ensembles. This prompted him to pursue a career in music via the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he received the CCM Honors Scholarship upon entry. During his studies, he performed in a variety of ensembles in and out of school, and gained considerable experience in genres such as Jazz, Funk, Fusion, Rock, Salsa, and Hip Hop. In school, Mr. Ethan joined eclectic rock outfit Sylmar, and has been touring the US with them for 3 years. He also performs in the Cincinnati area with a variety of artists such as Microbat, La Formula, Bernardo Lopez, Nathan Gittleman, The Wonderlands, Jenna Reel, and many others. His teaching philosophy is one that strives for excellence through fun and inspiration. He believes that in order to really achieve new heights on an instrument, students should be encouraged to follow their own unique interests and be themselves.

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Mr. Jack

Drums

Mr. Jack is from Peoria Illinois. At the age of five he began studying the Suzuki Method for the Violin. When he turned 12 he began studying drum set and percussion where he found his true passion for listening to and playing music. He has played in several symphonic, percussion, and jazz ensembles under instruction from incredible jazz educators and performers such as Adam Larson and Peggy Bonner. He currently studies wishing Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he is instructed by Art Gore and is involved in several ensembles both in and out of school. Mr. Jack specializes in the jazz tradition but loves and appreciates all forms of music; percussive and non percussive. He has a special love for seeing other peoples’ goals be achieved and is happy to find that teaching and sharing music.

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Ms. Audrey

Cello

Ms. Audrey has an active performing career playing with orchestras, premiering new music, and playing chamber music. She has recently won two concerto competitions: one at Utah State University and one at the College Conservatory of Music at UC (CCM). She is continuing to compete individually and with her quartet, O L E A, on national and international levels. Ms. Audrey has many years of playing and training with many professional chamber musicians, including Paul Katz and James Dunham of the Cleveland Quartet, the Jerusalem String Quartet, Astrid Schween of the Julliard Quartet, and Phillip Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet. She has also worked in close fellowships with the Fry Street Quartet, Chiara String Quartet, and Ariel Quartet. Ms. Audrey has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, including several assistantships and the CCM Honors Scholarship. From the University of Utah, she has received USU Music Scholarship and the Undergraduate Research Fellowship. She has also been awarded the Utah State Travel Award, Marie Eccles Caine Music Scholarship, and the Arts Chamber Music Scholarship. Ms. Audrey loves music, people (especially her husband Josh), Animal Crossing and cotton candy.

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Ms. Alayne

Violin/ Viola

Ms. Alayne is a violinist, private instructor, and arts administrator based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her creative yet detail-oriented approach to the violin translates into passionate and dynamic performances, engaging and effective teaching, and organized and inspired arts administration. A graduate from Kenyon College (’17) with a dual degree in Music and Sociology, she holds such achievements as the Thomas B. and Mary M. Greenslade Award for Music Performance, the first place prize in the 2017 Knox County Symphony Young Musicians Competition, and Distinction in Music for her senior comprehensive exercise. After graduating from Kenyon College, Ms. Alayne pursued a freelance career in music across Central Ohio and discovered her passion for bringing communities together through creative musical performances. She performed with several regional orchestras and ensembles, built a sizable studio of violin students, became involved in local arts administration, and created several original projects ranging from house concerts to large showcase events. Ms. Alayne currently resides in Cincinnati and has completed her first year of a Master of Music degree for Violin Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

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Mr. Matthew

Violin

Mr. Matthew is currently working on his doctoral degree in Violin Performance at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Throughout his university education Matthew has studied with Professor Piotr Milewski, Professor Kurt Sassmanshaus, Professor Stefan Milenkovich, and Professor Giora Schmidt. Mr. Matthew actively performs in orchestras in the region, including as a second violin principal at the Lima Symphony Orchestra. He has performed in the U.S., as well as internationally in Poland (St. John’s Archcathedral in Warsaw, Łańcut International Summer Festival), South Korea, and the Vatican City.

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Ms. Tera

Violin, Viola

Ms. Tera graduated from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a degree in Music Education. She also pursued graduate studies in violin performance and education at Kent State University. She has studied with Ronald Konieczka (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra), Si-Hon Ma (Kent State University) and Bernhard Goldschmidt (Cleveland Orchestra). Ms. Tera directed the orchestra program in Wooster, Ohio and later joined the faculty at Kent State University, Stark Campus, and taught Suzuki violin. She helped start a Suzuki Program at Southern Illinois University, while she was teaching at Unity Point School District and directing the Carbondale Community High School Orchestra. Currently, Ms. Tera maintains a private studio through Princeton High School in Cincinnati since 1982 and has taught many outstanding young people. Her students have been in Cincinnati Jr. Strings, Cincinnati Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Regional and State Orchestras. She has performed with the Canton Symphony Orchestra and is currently performing with the Middletown Symphony Orchestra, Clermont Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra and Lebanon Symphony Orchestra.

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Ms. Angela

Acting

Ms. Angela has been in the performing arts since she took up dancing at three years old. She began singing in middle school and dove into musical theatre in high school. After studying English literature and secondary education at Washington University in St. Louis, she decided to combine her passions for English and theatre by earning her Master of Letters and Master of Fine Arts degrees in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin University. Since then, she has been working as a professional theatre artist and teacher with groups such as Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company and St. Andrews University. No matter her students’ ages or experience levels, she’s dedicated to developing their skills and confidence, whether their goal is acting professionally or simply feeling more comfortable being themselves.

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Mr. Francis

Acting

Mr. Francis, a transplanted Rhode Islander, has held virtually every position in the theatre: actor, coach, director, playwright, professor, singer, stage combat choreographer, and more. His play Another Part of the Field was selected for the New Play Lab at the William Inge Theater Festival where he workshopped with Tony Nominee Lee Blessing and Tony Award winners Daisy Eagan and David Henry Hwang. Francis has also worked with Pigeon Creek Shakespeare, Thomas More College, St. Andrews University, Brown Mackie Cincinnati, and Children’s Performing Arts of Miamisburg, and many community theatre groups. He earned his BFA in theatre from the University of Rhode Island, and his MLitt and MFA in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin University. His classes emphasize challenging work, positive reinforcement, and fun.

Dance Instructors

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Ms. Jennifer

Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical

Ms. Jennifer has been teaching dance in the Cincinnati area for over 15 years. She first pursued her interest in dance at the age of three and was trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Lyrical and Adagio. She was also very accomplished in the competition arena. While in high school, Ms. Jennifer was captain of her dance team and was invited to perform at the Blue Bonnet Bowl in Texas and the Hula Bowl in Hawaii. She attended Ohio State University where she continued to study dance and performed with the OSU dance team. With a degree in education, Ms. Jennifer started her work with young adults as the Director of the Centerville High School’s dance team and helped lead them to several State titles. She has also been awarded many national choreography awards in both Lyrical and Jazz. She has choreographed and taught many award winning teams; many of them taking overall awards at competitions both regionally and nationally. She has had many of her students further their dance careers at colleges throughout the country and several of them working in the dance field post-graduation. Ms. Jennifer truly loves working with her students and brings that passion to the classroom.

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Ms. Allison

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop,

Ms. Allison joins the West Chester Academy family with 30 years of dance experience. A Florida State University theatre and dance grad, Ms. Allison has had the privilege of studying with Ballet Florida, Palm Beach Ballet Center and Performing with the Miami City Ballet’s The Nutcracker. In 2001, she was featured in opening the Gregory Hine’s Show and was mentored by Broadway performer and choreographer Garry Q. Lewis. Her favorite styles are musical theatre, tap, and jazz. Ms. Allison resides in the Liberty Twp. area with her husband and three year old daughter, Taylen, who is already showing signs of following in her mother’s footsteps.

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Ms. Andrea

Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop

Ms. Andrea began dance at the age of 6 for Darla's Dance studio. At 6 she joined The Dance Line Express where she danced competitively for 10 years. She has studied tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, clogging and hip-hop. She has over 16 years of dancing experience combined with 6 years of teaching experience. Ms. Andrea is very eager to work with the budding new dancers and believes that building good core dance skills are important for the futures of our tiny dancers.

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Ms. Ariel

Jazz, Lyrical, Tap

Ms. Ariel started taking gymnastics classes at age seven and then began her dance career after watching a friend's recital. She started out in instructional tap and quickly joined the competition tap team the next year. Ms. Ariel has training in instructional tap, jazz, lyrical, and ballet as well as competitive tap. The competition teams, of which she was a member, won many overall awards at the Stage One Nationals in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for three years in a row. Her inspiration is watching her students improve each and every week. Ms. Ariel's greatest reward is seeing that she has inspired them to have a lifetime appreciation of dance.

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Ms. Becky

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop

Ms. Becky started taking dance when she was three years old at Darla's Dance Studio. She started competitive dancing at age 6 for Dance Line Express. Ms. Becky has studied ballet, tap,jazz, clogging, hip hop, lyrical and pom pom. She's excited to bring her love of dance to the class room and hopefully pass that on to the students. Ms. Becky resides in Hamilton, Ohio and has 2 children.

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Ms. Jessica

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop

Ms. Jessica was born and raised in Fernandina Beach, Florida where she gained over 20 years of dance experience, as well as 20 years of colorguard experience. As a member of the Florida State of Jacksonville College Repertory Dance Company, she performed a piece at the College Dance Festival set by the Broadway cast of FOSSE! After college Ms. Jessica taught colorguard and dance at many high schools in Florida. She was also a member of the Teal Sound Drum Corp where she was a dance soloist and toured the United States for 2 years. Ms. Jessica resides in West Chester and has two boys, Cash and Rowdy. She is also a teacher assistant at Lakota East High School. She is very excited to share her love of the performing arts with all the students at West Chester Academy!

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Ms. Liz

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop,

Ms. Liz began her dance career at age 12, taking class at a local studio in Mason, Ohio. While dancing, she was a student teacher and quickly realized her love of teaching children. After high school, she began teaching dance and has choreographed many award winning routines. Ms. Liz attended the University of Cincinnati, receiving her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Liz is very excited to join the West Chester Academy family and share her love of teaching with our students!

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Ms. Mary

Ballet

Ms. Mary was born in October 1979, in a small town near Youngstown, Ohio. Her passion for ballet began at the age of 8, when she joined Ballet Theatre Ohio, a local semi-professional ballet company in Warren, Ohio. Studying under the Vaganova dance method, she has performed an array of roles in several ballet performances including The Nutcracker, Giselle, Coppelia, and The Firebird. Ms. Mary studied as a student during an intensive workshop with the world renowned Kirov Ballet from St. Petersburg Russia when they were guests at Ballet Theatre Ohio. She has also participated in summer workshops at various studios. As an adult, she has continued studying ballet, and looks forward to sharing her love and experience for the art with her students.

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Ms. Mollie

Ballet

Ms. Mollie started taking dance at three years old where she attended The Academy of Dance Arts in Middletown, Ohio. Through years of recitals and performances, she starred in the ballet of Alice in Wonderland, and Coppélia. Ms. Mollie attended The University of the Cumberlands where she was a member of their dance team. She has studied all various types of dance but her favorite is ballet and broadway jazz. Ms. Mollie is excited to bring her special love of dance and teach the students the traditions she learned from her home studio. She resides in Middletown, Ohio. Ms. Mollie is studying nursing at the Galen College of Nursing.

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Ms. Nicole

Jazz, Ballet, Tap

Ms. Nicole began dancing at age 3 but at age 12, she really discovered her love of dance studying under Ms. Jennifer at Oui Danse. She performed with her teams at numerous competitions and won many overall awards throughout high school. Ms. Nicole was also awarded a Rising Star Specal Award at Stage One Nationals in 2006. Along with competiting, she studied ballet and pointe under Nancy Fountain and Daniel Simmons at Ballet Theatre midwest for 3 years. While there she performed in The Steadfast Tin Soldier and Cinderella with Solist roles. Ms. Nicole participated in different summer ballet intensive programs at Cincinnati Ballet and Nutmeg Conservatory of the Arts in Torrington, Conneciciut. After graduating in 2008, Ms. Nicole went on to study nursing and dance at Otterbein University. While there she studied tap, jazz, modern, ballet, pointe and musical theatre. Ms. Nicole is extremely excited to share her passion of dance with her students.

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Ms. Olivia

Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical

Ms. Olivia found her love for dance at age three. She was trained in Cincinnati, with Ms. Jennifer as one of her teachers. She has experience in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz and lyrical. In high school, she was very involved in competitions receiving many overall awards. Ms. Olivia student taught during high school and then continued on with her own classroom for three years after graduating. She loves choreographing and challenging her students. She attended Miami University for English with a minor in Spanish. Ms. Olivia is currently pursuing a Master's degree in school counseling.

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Ms. Savannah

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Aerial Silks

Ms. Savannah of Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, trained at the New Paltz Ballet Theater with former New York City Ballet members Peter Naumann and Lisa Chalmers-Naumann, as well as former Radio City Rockette, Deanna Ford. One of her favorite performances includes the ballet/opera Carmina Burana, where she danced the leading role of The Girl in Red with Principal dancer of New York City Ballet, Nilas Martins. Ms. Savannah was accepted into many prestigious schools throughout her training, such as the School of American Ballet, San Fransisco Ballet, Kaatsbaan Extreme, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Cincinnati Ballet. In 2005, she joined the National Broadway tour of Contact, performing at countless theaters throughout the United States and Canada. Shortly after, she enjoyed a season of varied repertoire as a trainee with the Cincinnati Ballet. She worked with such choreographers as Mark Godden, Shelly Washington, Graham Lustig and Alun Jones as a member of Louisville Ballet. Some of her performances include Eight Ladies in Vespri in the production of Visionary Forces and the pas de trois of Chinese in The Nutcracker. Ms. Savannah joined Columbus Dance Theatre in 2008 as company member, performing a variety of both contemporary and classical pieces in both Soloist and Principal roles. She is certified and licensed to teach Progressing Ballet Technique. Ms. Savannah has been a teacher and choreographer throughout her performing career and is very passionate about doing so for many years to come.

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Ms. Stacie

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop

Ms. Stacie began dancing at Downie School of Dance in Fairfield, OH when she was 9 years old. Later renamed The Dance Company, she studied tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical, hip hop and acrobatics for over 10 years under Elizabeth Eckhoff. She has performed with the Greater Hamilton Civic Theatre, and loves to continue her education with different genres of dance as often as possible including Bollywood, swing, and modern. Ms. Stacie loves sharing these techniques and styles with her students in order to ensure a well-rounded dance education, and hopefully spark a lifelong passion for the arts.

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Ms. Tejal

Bollywood

Ms. Tejal is originally from Bollywood City – Mumbai, India. She has lived in Cincinnati since 2001. She has a passion for dance and loves to learn new dance styles. She has been teaching kids Bollywood Dance as well as other Indian Folk Dances for more than 12 years. She has 2 daughters who share her passion for dance. Ms. Tejal is excited to introduce the Bollywood style of dance to West Chester Academy.

Gymnastics Instructors

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Coach Rob

Gym Director

Coach Rob has spent most of his life involved in gymnastics and cheerleading starting at age 4 with recreational gymnastics and progressing to competitive levels through high school. After completing high school, he attended college where he was a cheerleader. Coach Rob is an accredited member of USA Gymnastics which requires extensive training in safe sports. He has coached all levels and most recently worked with levels 7-10. He was honored to have coached state, regional and national qualifiers and champions. In addition, he has been selected numerous times as a clinician at regional camps and clinics. After working several years as a coach, Coach Rob helped open a family gymnastic business, Flip n Twist Gymnastics. He spent the past 18 years managing and coaching at Flip n Twist Gymnastics and has now joined the staff at West Chester Academy. When not instructing gymnastics, he enjoys watching football, fishing, traveling and being with friends.

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Coach Jamie

Gymnastics, Tumbling

Coach Jamie began gymnastics at age 2 in a small town in Illinois and began competing around age 8. She competed throughout the states of Illinois and Missouri until she was 16 and retired from competitive gymnastics at level 9. Coach Jamie began coaching private lessons and parent-tot classes when she was 14 and continued coaching private lessons, parent-tot classes, and competitive gymnastics for many years. With her love of gymnastics and high energy, Coach Jamie began cheerleading in middle school and cheered on the varsity squad freshman through senior year of high school. During high school, Coach Jamie participated in and also helped pilot, coach, and choreograph a competitive cheer team. She was also a college cheerleader at Eastern Illinois University. During college, Coach Jamie met her husband, Scott, and moved to Ohio where she is now a kindergarten teacher in Hamilton City Schools. She coached competitive gymnasts briefly before moving on to coach Hamilton High School’s varsity gymnastics team. Coach Jamie and her husband now have two children, Micah and Esli, and she is very excited to be part of the West Chester Academy family. Coach Jamie truly believes that small things done with great love will change the world. Her hope is to not only grow children into incredible gymnasts, but also to be a positive influence on them and help them reach their highest potential both personally and athletically. She believes that forming relationships with the gymnasts and their families along with challenging children to always do their best will have the greatest impact on their gymnastics experiences. Gymnastics had such a huge impact on Coach Jamie and helped her to become the person she is today; she is very excited to be passing that experience on to the next generation of gymnasts.

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Coach Olivia

Gymnastics, Tumbling

Coach Olivia was a cheerleader and gymnast from the start of 1st grade to the end of her senior year in high school. She is a Lakota West graduate and now attends the University of Cincinnati. Coach Olivia is a Middle Childhood Education major and has a great passion for working with kids. She is a certified tumbling instructor and is CPR certified through the American Red Cross. Coach Olivia says her favorite part about working in the gym is cultivating new relationships with students and parents. She has been coaching at West Chester Academy since 2017. When outside of the gym, Coach Olivia dedicates her time to getting involved within her university. She also volunteers for a non profit sports organization. She loves spending time with her family and friends and her favorite hobby is traveling!

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Coach Stacie

Gymnastics, Aerial Silks

Coach Stacie began gymnastics lessons when she was 6 years old, and gravitated towards acrobatics a few years later. She is USAG Safety and Risk Management certified, as well as CPR and First Aid certified. Besides gymnastics, she has 15 years of dance experience ranging from ballet to hip hop to modern. She practices yoga and enjoys blending dance technique, gymnastic instruction, and yoga discipline. She finds that it creates a stronger athlete overall. While participating in a dance workshop a few years ago, she discovered the art of Aerial Silks and fell in love with it. Coach Stacie has trained under Erin Welch and Tracey Wozny and is fond of sharing this unique and challenging art form with her students, both dance and gymnastics alike.

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